Bollywood’s love affair with Horse

January 20, 2016

Guest article by DP Rangan

(We started the New Year with our tiny friends – birds – introduced to us by a scholarly guest article by Shalan Lal. At the other end of the spectrum, the large species Horse has been even more integral to us through the history. And introducing these beautiful animals is this erudite article by DP Rangan through Bollywood’s love affair with the Horse.

Mr Rangan is a latecomer to the SoY, but he has made his presence felt by his active engagement and informative comments. He is diligently devouring the previous posts of SoY, and like Shalan writes to me long mails on various topics. From his mails I have gathered that after retirement from government service long ago he has become a globe trotter, spending time with his sons who are settled abroad and touching home in Delhi periodically. Well over seventy, he joins the senior brigade of SoY, but has the enthusiasm of a teenager. We are fortunate to have grand opening by two guest authors at the beginning of the year, and I am sure we are going to see many more from them. Welcome Mr Rangan formally at the top line and thanks a lot for this excellent piece. – AK)

Bachpan ke dinHorse is no stranger to us bipeds and its life is closely interwoven with that of humans. As an utilitarian they have no equals. They served mankind, albeit unwillingly as mounts, beasts of burden, plough draggers, stagecoach haulers, Victoria pullers, transporting royals and dignitaries to name a few.

In olden days horses were used predominantly in battles and wars. They hauled siege engines over tough terrain prior to artillery days and later canon and gun carriages, pulled wagons carrying war material, victuals for personnel and other paraphernalia. Soldiers rode them as part of cavalry in the battles waged down ages. These units by their bold charge have turned tide of many a battle. Till the close of the nineteenth century they were the backbone of all conflicts, major or minor. The last big engagement in which they played their role was the Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1900 in South Africa. With the dawn of mechanized warfare from then on, horses mercifully got a big reprieve. They were not used in active warfare thereafter, but still continue to serve humanity in other fields. Man will not let them go from bondage unlike camels which were imported from Arabia into Western Australia and were later turned loose close to the end of the nineteenth century to become feral with periodical culling to reduce their menace of competing for water with humans.

Without horses to pull post chaises, movement of people and goods across the continent in Europe and America would have been impossible. In America, Pony Express riders sped on mounts across the continent for delivering mail, braving weather, terrain and hostile Native Americans (Red Indian is an undesirable term now) ready to scalp and murder them for nineteen months from 1860 till the completion of the Telegraph Service across America which rendered it obsolete. Such was their reliability, only one mail was lost during their tenure. As on date Canada has its fully functional Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Police mount horses and use them for crowd control. Horse regiments are still part of the armed forces. Their role is mainly ornamental, escorting VIPs. And here too motorcades have replaced them by and large.

I will be amiss if I fail to stress their importance in sports. Chariot racing and mounted horse racing was a popular sport from ancient times and was part of the Olympics by 650 BC. Here is a clip of chariot race from the film Ben Hur (1959) which supports my observation. It is a thrilling 4 minute extract and is known all over the world.

Horse racing is a great sports event in modern era too, making or marring fortunes of people who gambled on the final outcome of the races. In England a belief took hold that Dukes managing big stables took greater interest in quality horse breeding than their own lineage. Jaipur Maharajah used them in Horse Polo sport and army has its tent and peg contest. Horses with eye shields and mouth bits (cruelty imposed on them by man) were yoked to carts and transported people from railway stations, bus stands etc. to their chosen destination. They were a permanent fixture in the country including metropolitan cities. Delhi was probably the last city to banish tongas from streets.

The present article is to dwell on their role in films and how film producers handled them therein. As a measure of honour to them for the past services rendered and future utility, I will begin this epistle with an attempt to construct their genealogical history, which is a shade longer than humans. Readers who would have got bored by now can safely ignore the next two paragraphs without loss of continuity.

The horse (Equus ferus caballus) has been around for more than fifty million years. It is an odd toed ungulate mammal belonging to the family known as Equidae. Mainly based on fossil evidence, palaeontologists have deduced that horse increased in size from a fox like creature to current one. The ancestor of the modern horse – Equus evolved around 5 million years ago and continued thereafter with no noticeable mutation. An endangered species of horses known as ‘Przewalski’s were never domesticated and remain ‘wild horses’ to this date. Due to human endeavour they were saved from extinction. With conservation spirit ruling the roost, I am sanguine horses will last as long as humanity.

I should apologise if some readers find the above post tedious. However much one may endeavour to explain in detailed written explanations, nothing will be equal to visual presentation. I am posting a picture of the metamorphosis of the species, a few drawings of the early horses and also of the sole surviving wild horse variety.

Evolution of horses


(Courtesy : Wikipedia and other related sources)

Horses have been completely integrated into the lives of human beings since their domestication for more than 3000 years. They were the backbone of human’s effort to spread over and occupy land for habitation. Individuals using horses as mount for their day to day travel far outstripped carts, chariots, post chaise etc.

In ancient times emperors in India performed Ashwamedh Yagya to emphasize their hold over the empire they had built by subjugating various kingdoms by warfare or diplomacy. The Ashwamedh horse was escorted on a tour of the empire with soldiers picked by the emperor. Interfering with its smooth passage would be deemed an act of defiance and perpetrators of such a deed had to break spears with emperors’ armed escort. Failure for the challenger meant re-imposition of the yoke and success would be a humiliation to the performer of the Yagya. We know Luv and Kush held the Ashwamedh horse of Lord Ram, not knowing that he was their father, and defeated the army sent to rescue it, ultimately forcing Ram himself to face the challenge of the twins.

It would be surprising to learn that horse which roamed freely in the American continent in geological times became extinct. They were introduced to American hemisphere by the Spaniards. Herman Cortes defeated Montezuma, king of Aztecs with the help of mounted men. The horses were viewed with terror by the Aztecs and a far superior army in numbers was easily overwhelmed by a handful of Spaniards. Spain became master of Central America and also South America. Without the horses they would never have spread over such a vast territory and held it under their sway for the next two hundred and fifty years. The Spaniards travelled north and established mission stations and took horses everywhere. A few escaped and roamed the vast plain of North America spawning wild horses, a major source of animals for domestication. The English colonized the coastal area of North America and soon moved into the interior for settlement ousting the Native Americans. Horses meant the difference between survival and death of individuals when they had to negotiate deserts and dry areas. Great cattle ranches were established and cowboys and vaqueros (of South American pampas) rode the horses to control them and a great legend was born. Horse was the main stay of lawmen and outlaws in the American West. The horse played a major role in the spread of Americans from coast to coast leading to the birth of the present day USA. During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) they served the army in all capacities. Everywhere in the civilized world horse ruled the roost till the dawn of mechanical age in the early nineteenth century. Thereafter their role became ancillary.

Film producers in India, particularly in Bollywood were great innovators and integrated this quadruped into their plots. They were used in all sorts of situations – leading couples gambolling cheek by jowl astride the horses with glazed looks of love, hot pursuit of villains, desperate dash for freedom by heroes from pursuing yokels of evil powers, mounted regiments in period movies and so on. In historical pictures they blended into the canvas perfectly making them indispensable. In dacoit based movies, they were a great necessity as a means of fleet footed transport to ensure survival of the villain for the duration of the movie till the last moments when he conveniently tumbles down the mountain and gives up the ghost or taken in handcuffs by the mounted police who always arrive at the scene of carnage long after the hero had vanquished the evil force single handed, watched all along by his lady love in trepidation.

It would be a grave miscarriage of justice if the principal actor of such scenes, i.e. The Horse is not given its due importance. The horse being a dumb creature may not be able to demand its share of recognition from the film producers. It is up to us humans who have enslaved the horse for their own use to repair this omission as an act of noblesse oblige.

Bollywood film producers had introduced both mounted horses and tonga/chariot pulled by single or pair of horses as part of the film. Since I am not a historian and do not have adequate data of film bibliography, I cannot ascertain whether the horses or the cart appeared first in film. It is a classic case of which came first chick or egg. I would earnestly solicit the film history buffs who populate this blog to resolve this riddle. I am hopeful AK would present a medallion to the first person who presents authentic data, i.e. which came first – horses cantering along or horses pulling carts with a resigned look. I would proceed further to present a few songs covering this scenario of horses merrily plodding along despite a minor irritant, i.e., burdened by human rider on their back.

1. Aaja re aaja na sata by Asha Bhosle from Chhoo Mantar (1956), lyrics Jaanisar Akhtar, music OP Nayyay

The storyline fits in perfectly with the two boys-girl formula laid down by AK in his review of Sangam. Johnny Walker – Anita Guha (B1 & G1) followed by Karan Dewan – Shyama (B2 & G2) go through the motions. An amalgam of commoner and royal line characters with a gang of smugglers thrown in and expected to be vanquished by heroes are the backbone of the plot as woven by the Director.

The song is in typical O P Nayyar style and easily identifiable but not top quality. Other great songs are – Rafi-Shamshad duet, Rafi-Geeta duet – Tumhee ne dard diya, Novelty here is the girls in horse garb (kathputlies) doing the merry go round. What is portrayed is a dummy horse ride.

2. O pawan veg se udnewale ghode by Lata Mangeshkar from Jai Chitod (1961), lyrics Barat Vyas, music SN Tripathi

Who has not heard of the valiant Rajputs and their running battle with the Mughals over two hundred years from the time of Babar? Many Rajput clans tiring of the conflict submitted to the Mughal rule and also served in their court. Akbar’s consort Jodha Bai was a Rajput princess. Chittor Maharana Pratap Singh (1540 – 1597) of Sisodia clan was an exception. He fought the Moghuls to the end and denied any bride from his clan. His horse Chetak was a legend by itself. In this scene, Maharani (Nirupa Roy) is applying tilak on the forehead of Rana Pratap when he is preparing to face the Mughals led by a Rajput Man Singh deputizing for Akbar at Haldighati in 1576. Shri Shyam Narayan Pandey has written an epic poem on this battle. She is soliciting the horse Chetak to safeguard the king and deliver him back to her safely. Despite receiving mortal wound, Chetak rode away from the battle lost by Rajputs and saved Maharana Pratap from capture and then collapsed. Maharana Pratap built a monument for the horse at Haldighati which can still be seen. Excellent tune composed by S. N. Tripathi in tune with the army proceeding for battle.

3. Koi pyar ki dekhe jadugari by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from Kohinoor (1960), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

A Dilip Kumar – Meena Kumari starrer, it is the usual romantic story of historical class with its quota of villain and his hit-men to spoil the romance between the leading actors, but succumbing in the end as good triumphs over evil. Naushad’s music is exceptional and each and every song is a beauty by itself. Here they are riding on horses crooning all the way and Meena Kumari plays a romantic role. Scene presentation is not realistic. When Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari are shown in close up horse has been concealed. When they are shown together, it appears as if they are riding a vehicle and not plying in horses as individual sway is not apparent. Most of the scene is distant shot of a pair of horses cantering with mounted riders. The song is of a high calibre and Naushad is in his elements in this genre.

4. Main suraj hoon by Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhonsle from Dhil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966), lyrics GS Rawal, music Sonik-Omi

Dharmendra and Nutan are the leading actors in this social drama. Both of them are riding through a hilly terrain. Hero is equating himself to a sun and his lady love as the rays emanating from the sun. Asha Bhonsle matches Mohammad Rafi line by line. The horses seem to be past their prime and maintain a sedate pace throughout. The title song in Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya by Mohammad Rafi, Suman Kalyanpur and Mukesh is quite pleasing to hear and set in a lake surrounded by ice clad mountain.

5. Oo bachapan ke din bhula na dena by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum from Deedar (1951), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

A Bollywood hit film of 1951, it had all the major stars – Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Nargis and Nimmi. A social drama that fits perfectly into the formula devised by AK on two boys and two girls. Boy 1 (Dilip Kumar) loves Girl 1 (Nargis), but Girl 1 loves Boy 2 (Ashok Kumar) and Girl 2 (Nimmi) is in love with Boy 1. Boy 1 gets blinded in an accident in his childhood and Girl 1 forgets him totally when she has grown up into an adult and in love with Boy 2, a doctor. The story drags on and in the end Boy 1 cured of his blindness by Boy 2 becomes blind again with self-inflicted injury in atonement and is gladly accepted by Girl 2. The leftovers Boy 2 and Girl 1 get back into groove after it was derailed in between.

This song picturizes them as children. Baby Tabassum and Parikshit Sahni act the role of girl and boy. Naushad has placed his stamp on the song. This link portrays in addition the song sung in slow motion by Shamshad Begum and a line sung by Mohammad Rafi showing an adult Dilip Kumar as a blind youth.

6. Mujhe dekho hasrat ki tasweer hun main by Talat Mahmood from Baaz (1953), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music OP Nayyar

A Guru Dutt – Geeta Balli starrer set in the days of Portuguese rule in Malabar. A period movie with plenty of naval action. The local ruler had handed over reigns to the Portuguese and their oppressive ways sow seeds of rebellion in the affected people. A convoluted plot with usual twists and turns. Guru Dutt, a prince in disguise, throws himself with the people. Having been caught in the rebellion red handed, he is being taken to scaffold on a horse. Such is his cheerful mien, he is marching to his alleged death with a song on his lips and what a song. It is the most unusual song composed by O P Nayyar contrary to his style. It is being sung in slow tempo by Talat Mahmood and the prince lip synchs. To put the readers at rest about his final fate, I do say with personal authority having seen the movie, he is rescued by the resourceful lady love and the Portuguese are defeated and we may assume their conjugal bliss continued unhindered. It is a sweet song sung by the prince of crooners.

7. Main deewana mastana by Mukesh from Forty Days (1959), lyrics Kaifi Azmi, music Babul

I have not seen the movie and am in total ignorance of the raison d’etre for this odd title of the movie. May I presume the community would dispel the darkness. The hero Premnath seems to be either a gun toting dacoit or a prince of the scion. After watching a few more songs I will lean on the latter as he is moving around freely amidst the community with no sign of any authority of law after him. Shakila is his companion and K N Singh looks like the arch villain. A gypsy band is also involved with the Sardar looking daggers at the wooing display of presumably his daughter. Mukesh has ensured no note of pathos creeps in his performance.

8. Aaj unse pahli mulaquaat by KIshore Kumar from Paraya Dhan (1971), lyrics Anand Baxi, music RD Burman

Rakesh Roshan and Hema Malini are the leading players in the movie. The setting appears to be a village deep in the Himalayan range. Rakesh is proceeding merrily on an equally intoxicated equine in the fond expectation of meeting his lass, but at the same time he is apprehensive of how it may turn out to be, welcome with open arms or cold shouldered. Director has managed to get a free audience of local children for whom it must be once a life time experience of being pictured in the silver screen. How our tinpot politicians with all their putrid minds exposed through their utterances and innuendos would have wished for such committed audience instead of purchasing them. It is a trademark song from RD Burman and we can see his style immediately and who else will sing but Kishore Kumar.

9. Humkadam humsafar hum nasheen humzuban by Mana Dey, Mahendra Kapur and Usha Khanna from Nishan (1965), lyrics Javed Anwar, music Usha Khanna

Not to be confused with a film of similar title which appeared in Byzantine era from Kollywood, the similarity ends with the name of the film now produced by Homi Wadia. Sanjeev Kumar, Sheikh Mukhtar, Nazima and Helen are the major actors with many nameless extras thrown in. Hitherto we were usually accustomed to scenes of single horse or a pair streaking through. Now we are witnessing an irregular cluster of horses thundering through in full disarray. Sheikh Muktar starts the proceedings subsequently joined by Sanjeev Kumar. In between the lithe lady screams a sentence. They seem to be building up their morale and if the situation is properly read, they are intent on scaring away their enemies by their singing rather than exhibiting their doubtful martial prowess. I would not like to influence the opinion of the fraternity about the song, but leave it to them for their critical analysis.

10. Mera ghoda bada hai nigoda by Kishore Kumar from Parichay (1954), lyrics Keshav, music Ved Pal

Abhi Bhattacharya and Shashikala are the lead pairs with many more actors unheard of. It appears they are part timers with their bread winner efforts coming from elsewhere. Without a live video it is difficult to conclude whether the scene is of a tonga pulled by seething horse or solely horse with the inevitable human burden on its back. Claiming the privilege of a writer I think it is a mixture of both. The horse seems to have broken free midway leaving all in lurch. With the flight of the locomotor, it appears one of the riders had volunteered to be a substitute and acts the part of the horse in the process quite convincingly as is discernable when listening to the song in full. A top notch performance from Kishore Kumar who goes through all his usual drill in aplomb. Link is given below in the fond hope listeners would enjoy the audio part with a grinning Kishore Kumar as a virtual companion.

I have somehow managed to collect ten pieces from the inexhaustible treasure trove – YouTube and thank the uploaders for their efforts. Let me frankly admit I stumbled upon most of the pieces unexpectedly and would attribute it to the phenomenon of serendipity. I request the learned followers of the blog to unearth more such songs figuring only horses and post it for the enjoyment of all.

{ 127 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dinesh K Jain January 20, 2016 at 10:24 am

Thank you, AK and Rangan, for this, admittedly, rather unexpected post on horse-songs. The other bright side to the current trend is that now we can also expect dog-songs, elephant-songs, and so on!

But on a more serious note, the collection here seems deliberately focussed on relatively obscure songs, overlooking the celebrated horse songs such as from Naya Daur, Tumse Nahin Dekha, CID, and such like. Nonetheless, the songs from Jai Chitod and Forty Days revived my early childhood nostalgia. My sense is that one idea of SoY is to delve deep into the recesses of old Hindi film songs and bring out lost gems. No doubt the knowledgeable veterans among us will also complete the picture with the more famous horse-songs. I look forward to those.

2 Shekhar January 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm

For this collection on “Bollywood’s love affair with Horse”, may I suggest to also add Hasrat Jaipuri’s “Main Raahi Bhatakne Wala Hoo.n” by Mukesh on Prem Nath in Baadal (1951) under Shankar-Jaikishan’s baton with beautiful Madhubala in the frame throughout? It is on YouTube at

3 D P Rangan January 20, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Thank you Dinesh for reading through this humdrum post of mine. Usually generous AK had been kind enough to edit and post it. His subtle alterations have added lustre. I have avowed that I was deliberately trying to extract pieces from lesser known tribe of music directors. I had to struggle through to make magic figure of 10. Still I had to include one piece each from Naushad and O P Nayyar, the doyens in this category.

4 D P Rangan January 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Sorry for a slip. 2 pieces each from O P Nayyar and Naushad are included in the ten songs.

5 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm

AK ji,

AK is another name for creative ideas !

What a beginning to the New Year !

This post by shri D.P.Rangan ji is very good. Hoof beats in HFM have always attracted music lovers.
I would have started with the pioneering popular horse song of film Doctor-1941 “jag mein chale pawan ki chaal”by Pankaj Mullik.
The same year there was another popular marching song from film Sikander-41, ” Zindagi hai pyar se”by Rafiq Ghaznavi…

There are so many popuar songs involving Horses and Horse driven carriages that it is difficult to limit it to a number in a post.

I welcome Rangan ji to SOY’s team of contributors.


6 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 20, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Here is link for ”Jag mein chale pawan ki chaal”

7 AK January 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm

I also first thought Mr Rangan has selected some unfamiliar songs consciously. In a way it is good; readers can always add the familiar songs. You havee nmentioned other animals light-heartedly. We can trust our youthful and enthusiastic Mr Rangan to come up with a post on other animals too, if not separate post for each then for group of animals.

8 Ravindra Kelkar January 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Wonderful post, very insightfull & entertaining. So thanks DP Rangan & of course AK.
I enjoyed the songs, some of them hearing it for the first time.

9 AK January 20, 2016 at 2:53 pm

I am singularly lucky to get the patronage of so many knowledgeable and enthusiastic readers. All thanks to Mr Rangan, and Shalan Lal before that.

And thanks for adding the two songs, which have long been my great favourites

10 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm

D P Rangan ji,

In song no. 5 you mention the name of Parikshit Sahni, but those days his name was original-Ajay Sahni. When , after few films, he did not click as Ajay, he changed his name to Parikshit Sahni.


11 ksbhatia January 20, 2016 at 3:16 pm

D P Rangan ji;
A good topic to choose and dwelt upon . The readers will find many appendix songs in the form of 1. Tonga songs, 2. Solo ride songs , 3. Buggy ride songs ,4. horse dance songs ,5. Duet songs with twin rides, and many more as this theme moves on .

As a starter I am giving a completely different example from an old movie chandralekha …….Naachi ghoda naachi ghoda keemat iski….. . This movie was famous of its vast canvas sttuded with multi star cast and many dance numbers and songs .

12 D P Rangan January 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm

I have clearly stressed this post covers only songs depicting scenes where horses with the human burden are walking, trotting or gallopping. A few veterans have included Tonga songs also, which is altogether a different genre. In one of the Devar films from Kollywood, formerly Chennai, I have seen a dog riding a horse and directing it to the rescue of hero in dire straits. But alas no song. It would indeed be a challenging task to compile a post of animal songs. I request blog followers to concentrate only on horse songs. One example is MohammadcRafi from Aan – dilme chupake….I can include several from Tamil, but this being a blog of Hindi songs, they would be out of place.

13 D P Rangan January 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Arunkumarji I have no reliable source to get such great details. I have reproduced what has been given by commentators in you tube. I have found many such comments to be very useful.

Bhatiaji, I cease to be surprised at the fountain of knowledge you exhibit. I have seen Chandralekha in Tamil and remember the song. Since they are pseudod horses, would not like to consider them. It is my fond wish that this concept will lead to a plithora of songs, and we all would be honouring AK who began this path breaking blog with such a objective.

14 Ashok M Vaishnav January 20, 2016 at 5:21 pm

Indeed quite an engrossing post.
Songs on Horse, particularly horse-driven tongas, with hoof-sound used to be a very attractive feature in the films of that period. Shri Rangan has done a fine job of bringing up such songs on one page.
I also would add Laat Saaheb’s horse song, Jaane Mera Dil Kisse Doondh Raha Hai

15 KB January 20, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Kindly add Piya Piya Piya from Baap re baap and Halke halke from Tangewali

16 AK January 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm

I should again clarify what Mr Rangan has said earlier that this post is specifically about ‘horses’. Their application in a horse cart is a separate subject for which Mr Rangan may come up with another post.

17 SSW January 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm

But only a couple of songs about horses? 🙂
Perhaps this one fits the bill.

I was reminded of a song I used to love in my salad days and still do, not Bollywood.
These lines
“One day when the oil barons have all dripped dry…
They’ll beg for your strength, your gentle power
Your noble grace and your bearing.”

18 Jignesh Kotadia January 20, 2016 at 11:29 pm

Back to back three surprises in the new year made this January more pleasant with already a pleasant, cool, sweatless atmosphere all around. The collaboration of SoY with Zoology is welcome.
Great effort to find out some rare songs.
I am amazed by seeing the picturisation of Mujhe dekho hasrat ki tasveer hun main. I thought it would have shot at seashore or in a room with a gloomy mood.

19 Jignesh Kotadia January 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm

Adding a march song from Rajhath
Manna dey : SJ

Chale sipahi dhool udaate
Kahaan kidhar koi kya jaane

20 mumbaikar8 January 20, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Are you planning to diversify SOY?
We are in for pleasant surprises this year.

D P Rangan
I was wondering why you have been so quiet after coming back to India.
I did not know you were preparing for the trot.
I am enjoying it in किश्त. My contribution for the first किश्त,
Rajesh Khanna riding and who else but Kishore singing.
Rajput had some good songs
Aklea gaya tha mai

21 ksbhatia January 21, 2016 at 12:05 am

D P Rangan ji , AKji,
Here is my romance with the songs of Naushad sahib . I suppose they all fit the bill .
1.Do din ki bahar pyare……Dulari….Lata, chorus
2.Tumhare sang mein bhi……Sohni Mahiwal…..Lata ji
3.Insaan bano karlo bhalai…..Baiju Bawra……Rafi
4.Mera salam leja……….Udan Khatola……Lata, Chorus
5.Bachpan ki mohabbat ko……Baiju Bawra…..Lata ji
6.Chod babul ka ghar…….Babul…..Talat, chorus and Rafi [ the last scenes of the song that is highlighter of this beautiful song ]
7. aaj mere mann mein…….Aan……Lata, chorus

……and many more .

22 Jignesh Kotadia January 21, 2016 at 12:14 am

A brilliant song of RK – KK pair.

Here’s another RK song with Jeetendra from the same era (Dharam Kanta, 1982, Naushad) sung by Rafi and Bhupendra.

A remake of Bachpan Ke Din Bhula Na Dena !?
Way later after his prime time past at least for this one song Naushad could succeed to bring back the magic of 50’s. The instruments, rhythm and composition (also one of the singers) clearly belong to Golden Era. Wonderful melody, one of the fewer remnants of Golden Era from 80’s.

23 Jignesh Kotadia January 21, 2016 at 12:15 am

दुनिया छूटे यार ना छूटे
जान से बढकर यारी है
दिल के धरम कांटे पर देखा
प्यार का पल्ला भारी है

किस्मत से तेरा साथ मिला
बात हुई ना हाथ मिला
दुख जितने थे झेल चुके
खेल हम अपने खेल चुके
आज मिलन की बारी है ..

यारी है दिलदारो की
जोड़ी है तलवारो की
प्यार मिले तो प्यार करे
वक्त पड़े तो वार करे
ये तलवार दो धारी है ..

प्यारे अगर मुझ में है दम
तु भी नहीं है मुझ से कम
मैं सुरज हुं धूप है तु
मेरा ही एक रुप है तु
बात ये कितनी प्यारी है ..

24 Jignesh Kotadia January 21, 2016 at 12:20 am

From 70’s RDB-KK’s Raju chal Raju is a big one on horse.

25 Jignesh Kotadia January 21, 2016 at 12:23 am

Ghode jaisi chaal haathi jaisi doom
O saawan raja kahaan se aaye tum !

26 AK January 21, 2016 at 6:10 am

SoY will remain about Songs of Yore. There are many ways of presenting it, which I have been exploring from the beginning. Guest authors are adding variety. Thanks for your appreciation.

27 D P Rangan January 21, 2016 at 7:47 am

At present I am cosetted in a small town in Tamilnadu to which I retreated to restore my wife’s health battered by polluted Delhi shortly after return from Houston, a place of pristine purity. No proper internet facilities and struggling with a data plan mobile. Will thank all patrons for their encouragement on return to chaos going by the name Delhi and in fact I am thinking of inflicting another post. Please be on guard. By such support I am in danger of becoming a scourge in this blog

28 chitrapatsangeet January 21, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Lovely song featuring Rekha on the horse-

29 ksbhatia January 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm

D P Rangan, AK’ji[s] ;
Two more songs from old movies .
……….Tum jo aao to pyar aa jaye………Manna dey, suman kalyanpur……Sakhi Robin…..Robin Banerjee
……….Khet mere babul ka khet……Shamshad…..Mangla…… Three MDs

30 chitrapatsangeet January 21, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Saira and Joy on the horse – Door Ki Awaz

31 AK January 22, 2016 at 6:15 am

Rekha on horse, but the hero singing. But Saira Joy duet horse song is very nice.

32 AK January 22, 2016 at 6:19 am

KS Bhatiaji,
Tum jo aao to is a beautiful song. I didn’t know it was a horse song. But I didn’t see any horse in Khet mere.
Mr DP Rangan would have too many horses when he is able to access the blog.

33 chitrapatsangeet January 22, 2016 at 9:56 am

How does one classify this?lovely naushad number

34 D P Rangan January 22, 2016 at 10:39 am

As the author I would not call it a horse song. A mere duet with horse as an indifferent observer. Only song depicting a running horse with a rider and a background of hooves striking ground would qualify. However I leave it to the fraternity to weigh each song and express their views.

35 arvindersharma January 22, 2016 at 2:52 pm

AK Ji,
I must admit that this addition of birds and horses to SoY platform is a wonderful extension of the musical delights of HFM, and hopefully, many more will follow.
DP Rangan Ji,
Very good to see you in full flow and writing such a wonderful article for SoY, just when I was thinking about your absence for a few weeks.
My good wishes for the speedy recovery of your wife.
Songs you’ve listed are very good and additions by regulars, especially Bhatia Ji are excellent.
I’m having trouble with posting links to the songs, and hence will only enlist the details, in fact I should have posted this two days ago, but was simply trying to figure out a way to post the links, which I couldn’t.
The songs
1 Main gharibon ka dil from Aab e Hayaat, by Hemant Kumar. music Sardar Malik and penned by Hasrat Jaipuri
(A very favorite of AK Ji, I recall )

2 Kitna haseen hai Mausam from Aazad, by Chitalkar and Lata music C Ramchandra, penned by Rajinder Krishan

3 Ye sama hai mera dil jawan from Samrat Chandragupta by Manna De and Lata, music Kalyanji Virji Shah, penned by Hasrat Jaipuri

4 Mast bahar hai from Surang by Asha, music Shivram Krishna and penned by Shevan Rizvi
( A lovely damsel riding the horse, for a change)

Will be coming with a few more later.

36 ksbhatia January 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Arvinder Sharma , AK , D P Rangan [ji’s];
It was a great feeling for me to meet D P Ranjan ji in person ; a person having a perfect grip and command over the subject related to the vintage and golden era songs and music . I too wish his wife a speedy recovery and come back to delhi as sun blooms over again with plenty of sunshine.

Arvinder ji , your listing of songs shows your grit and determination to bring out the best . All the songs are really of high quality and deserve to be listen again and again . Yes, Your lovely damsel in the last song is no one else but Sheila Remani , the heart throb of many of mid 50s decade.

AK ji , I wanted to restrict myself to B & W era songs . Here I will break my tradition and will list out two or three songs from color- o -scope movies along with of course B & W songs as well .

1.Jaane wale jara hoshiyar…….Rafi….Raj Kumar…..S J
2.Aye nargise mastana…….Rafi…..Arzoo…….S J
3.Ek tha gul aur ek thi bulbul……Rafi….Jab jab phool khile….K A
4.O pawan veg se udne wale ghode…..Lataji…Jai Chitodd…S N T
5.Vande mataram…..Lata, Hemant,chorus…..Anand math…..Hemant
……..more to follow .

37 Gaddeswarup January 23, 2016 at 5:12 pm

This might have appeared before but I have not been following closely (a collaborator arrived and I have not been doing any mathematics for two years and retired eleven years ago. So working again is taking all my time and loosing sleep too)

38 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 23, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Ghudsavaar Nimmi from Aan:

Rathsavaar Nimmi ghudsavaar sakhiyon ke saath from Udan Khatola:

39 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Dilp Kumar with calm, serene horse in Aan (does not qualify as a ghoda geet per Ranganji’s Comment # 34)

40 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 23, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Sorry for the typo – should have been ‘Dilip’

41 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Realized that the horse in the Ghudsavaar Nimmi song from Aan (Comment # 38) is also the calm, serene type, and that the song will not qualify per the criteria laid down by Ranganji in Comment # 34.

42 Shalan Lal January 23, 2016 at 6:12 pm

To all
This article is erudite and unique as well. This article gives opportunity to look at how the Hindi film Industry has used horses in their way to make money while entertaining the audiences. But did they really love the Horse?

So praise goes to AK for the qualities, leadership, team building and innovation etc.

Mr. Rangan has done good research on his subject of the Horse. His title “Bollywood’s love affair with Horse” brings in mind Hollywood’s love affair with Horse. Then we have to agree that there is more love of a Horse in Hollywood than its shadow, and shadowing counterpart the Hindi Film world.

The horses appear in the Hindi films not much as the necessity of the stories but as a novelty item as in the films of Wadia Bros’s Nadiya John Cawas films like Diamond Queen,”Ghoda Punjab Ka”.

But in the Hollywood films very early film “The Birth of a Nation” horses were present. Then, through the Westerns and the young girls’ love for the “Black Beauty”Yearling” etc. Hollywood was very easy with its horsey ride and this is not just a “Horse Whisper”.

At present England and Europe are celebrating the centenary of the world war one. Five years ago a play called War Horse came on the English stage and theatre goers watched the performance of the Horse with jaws dropping. This War Horse is an artificial wonder- a feat of engineering and so life like and manipulated by a team of skilled theatre movement actors who are with the horse but remain un-noticeable, another acting invention.

This War Horse tells the horrific story of the use of horses in the WWI and also that of the pigeons that were used as messengers. Thousands of horses and horse soldiers were killed in the WWI, contrary to the understanding that the horse-soldiers did not appear in the WWI

The play is very successful. It is still running on the London Stage. They have made a film of the play and exactly used the same horse and same artists who manipulate it. And it has won many awards.

But the “War Horse” is not the first play on the British stage. In 1973 there was a play written by Peter Shaffer a well-known playwright, called “Equus”. Mr Rangan has mentioned the word Equus but did not mention its Greek origin. It is a psychological drama about a psycho boy who goes on blinding horses. Later on this play made a grade on the Broadway, New York. This was also turned into a film and Richard Burton acted as psychiatrists. Both play and film won many awards.

But Hollywood right from the beginning of the films used horses in their films. In fact when the still cameras came as novelty object and people started buying these still cameras then the movie camera was not invented, a man used many still cameras to photograph the progress of a race horse and joined them on a circular disk that projected on the screen shown as a running horse. And the moving film art was born. Another feather in the mane of the horse as starter of a brand new cine-civilization of the 20th Century!

During the era of the silent films there were many cowboy films and the showing of those films were accompanied with the live music and songs as well. In India, Naushad as a boy, in Lucknow, in a silent film theatre worked as an orchestra instrumental playing boy. This gave him the unique experience that he used in the later talking films.

The cowboy and his love for his horses gave rise to many cowboy songs about the horses. And a must of Cowboy song in the Westerns! Kirk Douglas sang in the film last Sunset. Roy Rogers was himself a cowboy before he starred in the films. His most famous song “A four legged friend” This song has many verses because in those days people loved the stunts of the horses and Roy was very good at it. I quote here only two verses:

A four legged friend
A four legged friend, a four legged friend
He’ll never let you down
He’s honest and faithful right up to the end
That wonderful one-two-three-four legged friend

A woman’s like cactus and cactus can hurt
‘Cause she’s just a tight-waisted winky-eyed flirt
She’ll soon have your land and your pride and your gold
And bury you deep long before you grow old

There was no political correctness in those days.. In literatures and films, theatre arts, paintings and real life women were targets of all kinds of jokes and exploitations.

In the mythological and Arabian Nights like films horses were present both in Hollywood and Bollywood. Mr DP Rangan has mentioned Ashwmedha the peculiar sacrifice ritual that mythological kings performed. Both in Ramayan and Mahabharat this peculiar ritual was performed by Ram and Yudhistir. Only a few people know that at the end of this Ashwa or Equus or horse’s journey the poor horse is killed and cooked and eaten by all the Royal family and their guests and by the Brahmin priests as well. More about horsemeat, if I come back.

The incident Mr Rangan quoted is probably from the 1943 film of Bhatt Bros “Ram Rajya. Apart from the Ashwamedh the horse appeared in the song of two Children who dance in front of the Queen Sita. The song is called, “O Raani Maharaani”. But that perhaps Mr. Rangan would exclude.

There are many songs after the ride on a horse but not while riding a horse. In Andaz poor Dalip is pulled by his tie by Nargis saying “Are Ghoda, Ghoda” in the hospital after Dalip saved her on her horse riding accident. But poor Dalip gets a noose of Nargis around his throat and wrongly understands it as her love for him and hence the very apt title of the film “Andaz”. He sings a song on the Piano “Hum Aaj Kahin Dil Kho Baithe,” giving rise to the Piano as a stage property in that period and a must for the hero heroine and others as well. AK has done a very interesting post on the Piano.

In the film Dulari, the hero Suresh sits on a horse and the horse is walked by a servant to the rendezvous to meet pretty Madhubala who does not keep the appointment. Then he sings a wailing song in Rafi’s voice “Suhani Raat Dhal Chuki” cannot be included in the list of Mr. Rangan.

But in the song of the Film “Aan” Dilip Kumar sits on a horse and sings, ”Dil mein Chhupake Pyara ka Toofan” and rides to face the death. This song perhaps, he may gingerly accept.

I think Dilipsaab rode on the horseback more than Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.

I think I have written more than Mr DP Rangan wants on his article. So I say “Aaj ki Mulahat Bas Itani….”

Shalan Lal

43 D P Rangan January 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm

Madam Shalanji was expecting a mind bogging comment from you and you did it. You have stolen the thunder. My post pales before your expertise. Now I expect more comments on your comment. Very happy about it. For want of internet unable to deal with all such kind comments from one and all. I will do so on return to Delhi. I am aware of the fate of the ashwameda horse. Did not want to add such gory details. I know Brahmins also drank the intoxicant somras.

44 AK January 23, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Your reference to Kirk Douglas on horse reminded me of a Western showing transition from horse to train. Kirk Douglas couldn’t believe that anything could be more powerful and faster than his horse. Therefore, he races against the steam engine in all innocence. KD has smile of victory on his face in the manner of ‘I told you so’ in the beginning as the engine is trying to pick up speed. It soon turns to bewilderment as the panting horse is easily overtaken by the racing engine. Westerns are not only about cowboys, but also about the historical transformation in the American society. (I am forgetting the name of the film, but that scene is etched in my memory. Would be grateful for help.)

Gory death in WW I was not only of animals, but of soldiers dying in horrific conditions in trenches in filth and grime, devoid of provisions. To compound it was the death by firing squad for cowardice in the face of the enemy. That brings in Kirk Douglas again who starred in the masterpiece Paths of Glory on this theme. Amazing, how such disparate references get connected!

To complete the WW I saga, the British Field Marshal Douglas Haig who was revered as a national hero, is now a reviled and hated figure in history.

45 Shal;an Lal January 24, 2016 at 7:20 pm

To all Songologists

Querry: Song Number 3
ko_ii pyaar kii dekhe jaaduugarii
Movie: Kohinoor

र : कोई प्यार की देखे जादूगरी
गुलफ़ाम को मिल गई सब्ज़परी
कोई प्यार की देखे …

What is the legend of गुलफ़ाम and सब्ज़परी?
I looked in Persian dictionry and also Urdu dictionary.
I failed to find any reference to them.


Can any one throw light on this?

46 Shal;an Lal January 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm

My dear Mr Rangan

Thank you very much for your comment. I hope you will enjoy the cold weather of Delhi when you get there.

I was tiwce in Huston. Now America has worst weather in hundred years one will defintely ask “Huston We’ve a problem”!.
In my students days I worked on on of the Ranches outside Huston. Shifting horse dung and doing a lot of spade work. I had also jolly rides on the American horses.

American and European horses are very big comapre to the Indian horses which look more like ponies as they have very little food and not really horse food.

Take it easy. You have done your job.


47 SSW January 24, 2016 at 10:31 pm

A correction if I may , “Equus” does not have a Greek origin. “Equus” comes from “ekwos” an older proto-Indo-European word, which is closely related to the Sanskrit “Ashwa” . The Greek cognate is “hippos” which is closer to the Celtic “epos”. The Greeks werer never really a nation of horsemen.

48 ksbhatia January 25, 2016 at 12:08 am

Some more songs from my Ranch :
1.Main galiyon ka raja……Rafi…..Dharmveer…….LP
2.O meri mehbooba….Rafi……Dharmveer……LP
3.Saat ajoobe is duniya mein…..Rafi, Mukesh…Dharamveer….LP
4. Raju chal raju…..Kishore……Azad…..RDB
5. Hai aag hamare seine mein…..Mukesh, Lata, Mannadey, MK, Geeta dutt , chorus…..Jis desh mein ganga behti hai……SJ

Song no:4 reminds me of many Western Hollywood movies starring various stars that appeared from time to time and became symbol of america heroes as time passed by. Clint Eastwood, Kirk Douglus , John Whyne , Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Dean Martin, …..[and many more ] are some of such examples . There were many hollywood co-productions with Italian, Spanish ,Mexican and French as well . Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharief, Bob Dylon added to the flavor for such movies
If we closely watch the Bollywood ‘s such movies of counter part Indian Heroes , the listing would be like Ranjan, Dilip kumar, Feroz khan, Dharmendra and may be few more . The standards , however , set by hollywood movies like ….Fist full of dollars , For a few dollars more, Meck.Gold, How the west was won , Good Bad and Ugly are far far ahead of bollywood movies. Some of us must have noticed the existence of some best scenes of the hollywood movies in our own indian movies .

As far as holywood ‘s theme music, songs and back ground music is concerned I think we have to learn a lot . Yes, Naushad sahib was the one great MD that brought out best of such music in such kind of films . Whenever I hear the title music and background music of Aan I am reminded of music of Gone With The Wind . Hearing is believing .

49 Subodh Agrawal January 25, 2016 at 9:40 am

Wonderful article Mr Rangan, and the comments have added a lot to its value.

India’s relationship with the horse has historically been a troubled one. One of the main arguments in favour of the Aryan invasion theory – as contrasted with Aryan’s being indigenous – is the absence of the horse from the images of Harappan civilization vis-a-vis its importance in Vedic literature. Even centuries later the warrior clans of India couldn’t master the art of breeding horses and had to depend on imports. It is only now that stud farms have become a major hobby cum business of the super-rich.

Horses do seem to have some musical sense – they can be taught to dance to music, as this video shows:

Given the importance of the horse in wedding ceremonies it is surprising that so few songs featuring the horse as a mount are there in HFM. The composers seem more comfortable using the sound of the carthorse’s hooves as a natural beat to compose racy numbers.

Thanks once again Mr Rangan, and thanks AK for providing this wonderful platform.

50 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 25, 2016 at 11:37 am

AK ji,

Ms. Shalan ji has put a query about Gulfam and Sabjpari. Here is the necessary information.

These two are characters from an Urdu drama ‘Indersabha’, written by the noted dramatist Syed Agha Hasan Amanat lucknowi ( 1815-1859).
This is a drama having about 60 songs of variety and is a mixture of stories from Persian folklore and Indian Mythology.
The drama was written in 1853 and first staged in Lucknow in 1854.
This was adapted for the earlier Talkie film “Indra Sabha”- 1932. Master Nissar was prince Gulfam and Jahanara Kajjan was Sabjpari.
The film is in Record books for having 71 songs.
The story is about Sabjpari, a dancer in the court of Inder( Indra), who falls in love with an Earthly prince Gulfam-enacted y handsome Master Nissar. The story depicts how Sabjpari loses her love and then regains him.

51 arvindersharma January 25, 2016 at 1:32 pm

DP Rangan Ji,
Watching Subodh Ji’s excellent link of a dancing horse, I was reminded of this excellent dance song from Navrang by Asha, Tum sainya gulab ke Phool, a lovely horse competing with Sandhya’s exquisite dancing to woo the hero, Mahipal
KS Bhatia Ji,
Many thanks for your kind words, and I am still finding it difficult to post multiple links for the songs.
I will be posting one link for a song, though I believe it would not be looking good, but I don’t know how to go about solving this problem.

52 AK January 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Thanks a lot for this information. Sabzpari in Indra’s court? The name does not go with Rambha, Menaka, Urvashi etc. But really it does not matter. Let us say this is also one of the love legends.

53 arvindersharma January 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm

A dream sequence song from Sangdil, the horse and the riders floating in the clouds towards a dream destination

54 arvindersharma January 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

Here’s the iconic Lata song from Anarkali, the prince Saleem trying to save his ladylove from death, furiously galloping on a horseback, but in vain.
Ye zindagi usi ki hai (2) Lata from Anarkali

Pradeep Kumar, once again as another iconic lover Ranjha, singing a very melodious love song from Here, by Hemant Kumar, MD Anil Biswas

Main to Heer ka hoon diwana

55 arvindersharma January 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Misspelled Heer for here in the comments above,
here’s another song from Jaadoo, by Amirbai, Shamshad and Rafi, a delightful comic song, a comedian coming up on a horseback and welcomed by the two beautiful damsels

Let lo le lo do Phool jani le lo

56 ksbhatia January 25, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Arvinder Sharma ji;
You did it again . All the songs from#50 on wards are again lovely and melodious . Here are the uploads of the remaining three songs you listed @35 .
1. Kitna haseen hai mausam…..
2.Yeh sama hai mera dil jawan
3.Main gariboan ka dil

The third song is from Abe Hayat which I used to sing along with my younger brother when I was 9 years old . We used to hum the interludes and chorus backup also. Now I find the same interlude and same chorus in a beautiful song by Geeta dutt in the same movie Abe Hayat . Though the song is not related to the theme but it is worth hearing for its similarity.
…..Jhuk jhuk jaye nazar sharmaiye…..
The heroine in this movie is no less beautiful than your damsel of song#4 @35 .

57 ksbhatia January 25, 2016 at 4:21 pm

D P Rangan , Arvinder Sharma [ ji’s];
Here are two more classic golden / vintage songs from my small ranch collections :
1.Main deewana mastana…..Mukesh…..Chalis din…..Bipin Babul
2.Soon bairi balam bol re….Raj kumari…..Banware nain….Roshan

58 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm

AK ji,

In his Urdu Play, Agha Hasan describes about Inder’s court dancers like Pukhraj (Yellow/Topaz), Neelampari (Blue/Saphire), Lalpari (Red/Ruby) and Sabjpari (Green) and not Rambha Urvashi, Menka, Tilottama etc.
By the way, Sabja is mentioned in Ayurveda and herbal medicines as a Medicinal Herb and a vegetable. Liewise Pukhraj may be Pushkraj etc etc. His play is a mixture of Persian fantasy and Indian Mythology,as I said earlier.

59 Shalan Lal January 25, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Arunkumar Deshmukh @50 & 58

Thanks for digging this wonderful information. The play Indrasabha seemed to be very popular pre-film era and it has gone deep in the memory of Shakeel Badayuni to bring out in his lyric.

Is that story similar to Gul-E-Bakawali?

I have another querry about the Babul song The last one is mentioned.

The horse rider that takes away Nargis. I remeber in Bombay in one of the theatre it was mentioned Tell us who is the Rider on the horse and get some reward of hundre Ruppees or so?

Any Idea who is the Rider and why he is dressed like that. it looks more a Persian culture there than the Hindu one and I beleive the story is about the Hindu Characters.


60 arvindersharma January 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm

DP Rangan Ji,
The song I’m posting should have been at the near top of the horse songs, as it features a non singing KL Saigal on the horse, and a very melodious song by the cine queen of vintage years, Khursheed, singing under the baton of Khemchand Prakash from Tansen
Ghata ghan ghor ghor
Mor machaye shor
More sajan aaja

Bhatia Ji,
Many thanks for your kind words and posting of the links.
Am still wary of posting multiple links,

61 ksbhatia January 25, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Ms Shalan Lal ;
The rider on the horse in the end of the Babul song …Chhod babul ka ghar….. is Ashok kumar . I am quite sure of that. Why he is dressed like that …..I have no answer to that.

62 mumbaikar8 January 26, 2016 at 7:18 am

AK, Arunji,
Sabja belongs to Basil ( Tulsi ) family .
Muslims have custom of taking some Sabja leaves when visiting their loved one’s graves.
Sabja seed are also known as Takmariya
But I do not think Sabja and Sabzpari has any link.
Sabz in Persian is Green Black or Dark.
Perhaps Shakeel Badayuni is implying, love is blind when he writes pyar ki jadoogiri Gulfam who was supposedly very handsome opted for Sabzpari (Saanwali) not considered beautiful in our country

63 Dinesh K Jain January 26, 2016 at 10:17 am

# 61 ksbhatia

The rider on the horse in the end of the Babul song is merely symbolic, requiring just horsemanship rather than any acting skills. Why would Ashok Kumar ever be considered for such a minimalist ‘role’ and why would he ever accept it?! His face is never shown. Any extra, well-versed in riding, would do it much better than a thespian, that too at a much less cost, and with little persuasion.

It only stands to reason that it could not have been Ashok Kumar, but on the other hand you say “I am quite sure of that”! There has to be a sound basis for your confidence to claim that?

64 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Mumbaikar 8 ji,

The story goes that Sabjapari(Green) was very beautiful and was one of king Indra’s court dancers. She happens to see Gulfam,a prince on Earth while he is asleep and falls in love with him, and Prince Gulfam did not opt for her-as you guess.

Ms. Shalan ji,

The story is not like Gul E Bakavali. It is different altogether.


65 ksbhatia January 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm

Dinesh K Jain ji;
I entirely agree with your observation as to any low paid extra line up actor would have carried this rather micro role justifying the need of the scene .
My answer to the quiz was based on a similar quiz published in Filmfare magazine some time during its publication days in , perhaps 1953/54 when the size of the magazine itself was small and answer to that quiz was published in the subsequent editions . As we all , brothers and sisters , were filmy buff we use to buy each and every issue of the magz. and with time had collected them till 1965 . Thereafter we had to part with them as we moved to our new govt residence .
Since I have no hard fact in support to my belief ; as such I appologitically take back my answer and feel sorry to have posted the same. The matter may please be treated as closed .

66 mumbaikar8 January 27, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Thanks for clarifying.

67 ASHOK M VAISHNAV January 30, 2016 at 10:22 am

Our friend Naresh Mankad had sent me the link to Main Hoon Bharat Ki Naar (Ladki, 1953), in a different context.
But the song is a classic fit to our subject here.

68 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 30, 2016 at 12:57 pm


Wasn’t Indrasabha premiered at Wajid Ali Shah’s court?

69 Arunkumar Deshmukh January 30, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Ashwin Bhandarkar ji,

You are talking about the play or the Movie ?
Either way, I have no information. Sorry.


70 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 30, 2016 at 7:38 pm


The play, of course. Did a bit of Googling and it appears that there is broad agreement that ‘Indersabha’ was performed in WAS’s court, while some believe that the work was commissioned by WAS.

71 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Hindu mythology has a horse-god in Hayagriva, who figures quite prominently in the Vaishnavite tradition of South India. Hayagreeva is considered to be an avataar of Vishnu, and has a horse’s head on a human body (come to think of it, quite the opposite of the centaur from Greek mythology). Here’s the wikipedia entry on Hayagriva:

72 D P Rangan February 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm


Hayagreevar is an incarnation of Vishnu and is the God of wisdom. There is a hill temple dedicated to him at Trivendipuram near Cuddalore in Tamilnadu. There is a Sanskrit sloka

Gnana nanda mayamdevam nirmala spadikakitham
Aadaram sarva vidyaanaam Hayagreevaupaasmahe
Do not know how to present it in Sanskrit.

73 ksbhatia February 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Here is one more song that should fit the bill .

………..O Mohanna na ja radha…….Suman kalyanpur….Jai Bhavani…..S. Mohinder .

74 Shalan Lal February 1, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Subodh Agrawal @ 49

Mr. Agarwal I have great respect for you and your knowledge of Indian classical music and your very rich contribution to the SoY by writing many posts on the classical music and SoY.

With a heavy heart I want to differ with your view about the “Indians lack of horse culture”. I shall come back to it later sometimes.

I watched the link you have quoted of the Indian Horse dancing to the dhol beats. Now I would like to raise my doubt about your “Horses do seem to have some musical sense – they can be taught to dance to music, as this video shows. My doubt is “it’s pretty easy to stumble over dancing animal videos online. Are these animals really hearing the music and keeping a beat, or are they merely moving around at someone else’s behest?”

In the clip it seems the horse is exactly doing that and is controlled by both the persons who are guiding the horse and the dhol player as well doing the same.

In support of my doubt I would like to mention the snake and the Sapera whose Pungi and movement makes the snake swing side to side and not the music. Snakes have no ears but they could feel the sound from the vibrations in the earth it receives through its body. So the whole legend of snake and snake charmers in the India is a myth and superstition.

When Maneka Gandhi came into politics she created some commotion about the Indian street player who went around with the dancing bear. She told the people that the bears were cruelly treated and taught to dance. She quoted that they were burned by the burning cigarette butts to make them dancing movements and then conditioned them by the gestures and the rope around its neck.

At present there is a debate in Europe that the show jumping of the horses’ race is not. It is not humane but it is included in all sorts of races and even in Olympics as well.

There is also a very popular show called “Dressage” and one or many horses do dancing to music. Especially in Spain and Latin America it is very popular.

I would also like to question the ability of the birds making the music as human beings do.

On the Internet all protests and questioning about this kind of shows, have been removed and protesters have lost their voice.

The breaking of a horse is a horrific activity. This was centred on in the famous last film of Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe the Misfits 1961. This film is a also symbol of inhumane power trying to crush free spirit. The film was written by the famous American Playwright Arthur Miller who was married to Marilyn at the time.

AK @ 44
At present I have two films of Kirk Douglas in my mind that may have the scene that you have mentioned. “A Man without a Star 1955 and Lonely are the Brave 1962”. My tendency is more towards “A man without Star” as it has both horse riding and railway journey. If I find the actual scene I shall come back. Kirk did good acting in the Non-Cowboy films. His acting as Vincent van Gogh in the film “Lust for Life 1956 was very good and memorable. In 1996, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community”. His role as Spartacus slave in the film Spartacus 1960 is always quoted.
His very close Cowboy friend Burt Lancaster also showed great acting in many non-cowboy films. One is called “Judgment at Nuremburg 1961. He acted as the Judge who wrote many books on the Law but ordered the death of innocent Jews in the WWII. The judge who sat on his trial was acted by Spencer Tracy. His character was deliberately chosen by the Military Tribunal of the USA from a small town of America so the German judges who were accused of mass killing could get fair trial. The character of Spencer Tracy became Judge by reading and studying the great law books written by Judge Burt Lancaster. In the end he Spencer Tracy gives him death sentence quoting his own book. This film is on the top of my hundred Hollywood best.
Your thoughts about WWI are correct. The war was mainly known as the War of the Trenches. It is epically filmed in the great film “All Quiet on the Western Front” and comically and claustrophobically knocked about in the Comic TV Series “Black Adder Gust Forth”. But the horse-soldiers were used and horses were also used to move the artilleries as well.
Shalan Lal

75 AK February 1, 2016 at 8:31 pm

Thanks for the Kirk Douglas references. If I get a chance I would look up which one has that scene.

Judgment at Nuremburg is my great favourite too. I don’t remember whether Burt Lancaster character was given death or life-term, but I do remember Spencer Tracy going to his cell in the end. Beautiful scene. A Yale psychologist, Stanley Milgram, has conducted some experiments which have become famous by his name, to explain the common human nature of obedience to authority to even inhuman levels. This was seen as some kind of explanation of what happened in Nazi regime.

76 Shalan Lal February 5, 2016 at 6:31 pm

DP Rangan, AK, Subodh Aagrwal, Ashwin Bhandarkar and rest of the lovers of the blog
The Divine Horse Hayagreeva!

The Divine horse Uchhaisravas was mentioned. And also now Mr Ashwin Bhandarkar mentioned Hayagreeve as the incarnation of the God Bishnu. Mr Bhandarkar desrvs our thanks for introducing Hayagreeva in the comments on the present post as Mr Subodha Agarwal had expressed his doubts about the Indian ability of horse-breeding.

The group of Gandharva, Kinnar etc, are often, mentioned in the Mahabharat and Puranas. Kinnaras have human heads and body of the horse are male or female divine beings and they come near to the Greek Centaurs who have upper body parts are of male or female human beings. Kinnars are romantic and compose songs and could fly in the sky as they have wings as well. Kinnara are more popular from Burma to Thiland, Indonesia and parts of China. There Kinnar are half human and half birds. The Khemer land and language come from the word Kinnar or Kennar. There is also a Kinnari Veena a string instrument.

Like the Haygreeva Tumbaru has horse head and Tumbaru with a string instrument goes with Narad. In the Mahabahrat Tumbaru gifted Yudhistar one hundred powerful horses. These Indian figures are similar to the Greek Centaur Minotaur, Satyr, Harpy mythological figures dominate ancient Greek Culture.

Both Gandharvas and Kinnara are musicians, dancer and usually wandering minstrels on their own or in the Indrasabha or in Vaikuntha the abode of Vishnu.

Here is Uchhaisravas mentioned in the Bhagvad Gita.

Uchchaiḥśhrăvăsămăśhvānāṃ vĭddhĭ māmămṛĭtodbhăvăm
Ăirāvătăṃ găjèndrāṇāṃ nărāṇāṃ chă nărādhĭpăm 10.27
Among the horses I’m Uchhaisravas, know me as of immortal birth. I’m Airāvăt
Among the elephants; I’m the king among all the human beings.10.27

It is clear that the Lord Krishna or Bishnu is the best horse Uchhaisravas among all horses. The birth of Uchhaisravas occurs in the story of Samudra Manthan-Chruning of the Ocean. This story is in the Vishnu Puran. There are 18 Puranas as the supporting scriptures of the main Scriptures called Prăsthān-Triad-the triplets of the books for the Life’s Journey, called Upanishad, Brahm-Sutras and the Bhagvad Gita.

As Uchhaisravas is mentioned in the Bhagvad Gita this means the Puranas are older than Gita. The date of Bhagvad Gita is assumed sometimes between 2,000 BC and 5,000 B.C. As Gita is inserted in the Mahabharat, the Mahabharat is older than Gita. Scholars think that Ramayan is older than Mahabharat as it is mentioned in the Mahabharat. So if Ramayan had horses then we are somewhere 10,000 B.C.

So the claim that Indians did not have a Horse Culture is a lame duck perception. A culture that gave imagination that a Horse is God and there is an incarnation of Vishnu that has a Horse head was and is given prominence to the horse in their daily life must say more about the horse in the Indian culture.

In the Ramayan Dashrath is mentioned who could control ten chariots at a time. The Sagar Putras went on following their Asvamedha to the underworld who were turned into ashes and their descendent Bhagirath brought down the Ganga to sanctify the ashes. In the Mahabahrat Krishna, Arjuna, Dharma, Karna Jaydrath all were expert in driving chariots.

One may say that the Ramayan, Mahabharat and Puranas are books of imagination. But to have that kind of imagination it has to be based on some reality.

The question that Indians did not have horse breeding skills is also doubtful origin.

After the invasion of Khalifat Islam’s war against the world to convert all to Islam with force, everything in India laid for the destruction and destroyed it as much as possible during the period of about eight hundred years. The memories of glories of ancient India were withdrawn into the darkness of religious of worships and superfluous beliefs that everything in Vedas was real and divine. It is enough to mention here, this and not further as the debate about the breeding of horses was not known in India would take a historical debate of the medical and spiritual and other branches of knowledge.

AK @ 75 had a made a reference in the connection of Judgment at Nuremberg is worth quoting here for our perspective about many things as India is coming out towards better Independence of the scrutiny. AK’s quote is,” A Yale psychologist, Stanley Milgram, has conducted some experiments which have become famous by his name, to explain the common human nature of obedience to authority to even inhuman levels. This was seen as some kind of explanation of what happened in Nazi regime.”

This could be true for the Indian inferiority complex as well.

Shalan Lal

77 D P Rangan February 10, 2016 at 5:22 pm

Ms. Shalanlal

Your comments have far outstripped my post. It is very informative and I thank you profusely for it. I have just arrived today after a tiring 40 hour train journey from Chennai. I have to cart lot of items for onward hauling to US and have to take train journey. Just like jet lag, it is train washout. I will try to respond to all the comments from the community by and by.

78 Shalan Lal February 12, 2016 at 6:37 pm

D.P.Rangnathan @77

Many thanks for tolerating my stepping on your toes. But I thought there was more information about Horse hidden in the Hindu Litrature than we could make a passing remark about the Hindu culture.
Only yesterday on a porgramme when called Q @ A a alsh minister said that his language has many Sanskrit words and he is proud about it.

So in reality we really do notknow how far Sanskrit in ancient times have passed to so many European countries.

So I am glad that you have excused my dust in your area for going a bit deeper. Thanks again for your generous comments.

Now I am going a bit further and trotting on the toes of SSW.

Mr SSW @ 47 made a comment:
“The Greeks were never really a nation of horsemen.”
For a long time my jaw was dropped down with the astonishment. In the past Mr. SSW showed great scholarship in many areas either in his own post or his erudite comments. But here he did not support his above comment. I thought he would come back and explain but so far he did not do so I thought I put in my reflections.
To me the above comment looks like a gaff. But the readers of the SoY may wrongly take the information and believe that the Greeks had grown without a horse culture in their glorious Civilization.
Recently the scientific researchers declared the horses read the human emotions on their faces and also while humans were riding on them. It is for a long time understood that a horse and the rider have to be one minded to achieve any task the human rider takes in.
I have to say that the scientific enquiry has been the foundation rock on which all the progress done by the Europeans and hence consequently by the other nations post Renaissance. The Renaissance is the Rebirth of the Greek School of enquiry in all earthly, cosmic and spiritual matters.
To start about the Greek’s love horses we have the famous phrase “Trojan Horse” full of all kinds of meanings.
Then we have got the legend of Alexander the Great who was emperor of Alexandria Egypt, Persia, Afghanistan, and North India. His beginning started with controlling a difficult horse. He would not have achieved that without being on the horseback.
There has been a long dispute going on between British Museum and Greek Government on the architectural stones of the Parthenon Temple at Athens.
These stones definitely depict a very rich Greek Culture that had horse heads in their celebrations.
The temple of Parthenon had a shrine of Goddess Athena’s statue more than thirty feet tall. She was the presiding deity of the festivals in which a horse was a centre figure. The marbles that were removed from the temples by the then ambassador Lord Elgin to the Ottoman Empire that ruled Greece for three hundred and fifty five years, with the permission of the Ottoman Empire as the Parthenon Temple was used for storing gunpowder and many times there were explosions and ruined the temple.
Point here is not to enter in the dispute between Greece and Britain but show that the horse had powerful place in the ancient Greek Civilization. More information could be accessed on the internet about the Greek Love for the Horse.
Shalan Lal

79 D P Rangan February 13, 2016 at 7:13 pm


Bhatiaji what a tireless contributor you are. Digging out very many songs and posting their utube link is no easy venture. You must be having thousands of songs at your finger tip to accommodate any post at instant notice. I had already included the 40 days song you mentioned as part of my post at sr. No. 07. Had listened to other links provided and thank you for bringing to light songs otherwise hidden.

80 SSW February 14, 2016 at 2:24 am

Dear Ms. Lal
Let me put my statement in context as I have no wish to do your jaw any damage. I have just come back from a visit to the dentist as as one of our former presidents who had a glad eye for a filly said , “I feel your pain.”. But let me stop horsing around. Building statues of horses, adding them as relief to the Parthenon, etc does not make Greece a nation of horsemen. The Comanches built no statues to horses but every boy and possibly girl among the Comanches could give any Greek a few pointers on how to handle horses. Alexander’s success (he was Macedonian), Bucephalus notwithstanding was achieved by infantry, horses were only meant for aristocrats, the Macedonian cavalry was around 3000 strong according to sources. You may know about the pezbetairoi and the betairoi. The pezbetairoi fought with the sarissa a sixteen foot pike the use of which needed trained soldiers not citizens who fought occasionally. These infantry men were responsible for both Phillip and Alexanders success. When I mean a nation of horsemen, I mean the Mongols, the Magyars the Comanches the Bedouins etc. People to whom riding was as natural as walking, where children as young as seven were adept in handling horses and breeding them and where every man had a string of horses.
Now since I have taken up so much space I feel it necessary to add a song. A song that is about a beautiful horse Chiraa-koor and it comes from the edges of the Russian Federation on the borders of Mongolia.
I dare say this is more elemental than any Bollywood song where the horse is just there to add colour.

81 Shalan Lal February 14, 2016 at 6:35 pm

SSW@80 and other horse lovers
“The Greeks were never really a nation of horsemen.”
Well , to know the difference that American Indians horseriding skills as far to superior than the Greeks culture is again jaw dropping and it is now my turn to feel the pain.

But so often AK said, “to each his view is great!” I now succumb to it.


82 SSW February 14, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Ms. Lal
Did I say that the Comanches horse riding skills were superior to Greek culture? I must confess that my writing is really bad if I have managed to provide that impression. 🙂 🙂
And oh yes “The Greeks were never really a nation of horsemen.” 🙂
Nuff said.

83 ksbhatia February 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm

D P Rangan ji @79 ;
Thanks for liking the songs I have posted . Here is a chorus song of the old Gemini classic movie Chandralekha which in fact is an opening song just after the titles of the movie . Horse riders in plenty…..
………. Kadam badaye ja kadam milaye ja……..

I am unable to recall a similar chorus song filmed on Ranjan and many soldiers riding the horses from a movie of the likes of Mangala , Nishan , Ek tha Raja etc . If located that would add to interest in such songs as well .

84 D P Rangan February 17, 2016 at 11:13 pm


Vintage is really vintage and enjoyable. By 60s standards the song is average, but one must see it from 1948 angle. So sorry to see the poor state of the video. This is a shortcoming of Indian films. A nice song is presented. Looks like it ended abruptly. I did see the movie in Tamil as a little lad. Whenever you come across such rarities do post them for all to enjoy. You ought to have teamed up with Harminderji.

85 N Venkataraman March 26, 2016 at 11:05 pm

Mr Rangan,
Circumstances, have kept me away from SoY, time and again. Whenever I approached your (article on) horse, I was repeatedly thrown off before I could mount. Hence I could not post my views earlier. Aptly said by Akji in his introduction to the post, we are indeed fortunate to have among us two of the most erudite guest authors at the beginning of the year, and I too join him (though belated) in thanking you for this excellent piece. A well researched article, we are treated to a feast of information besides the customary songs. Your well written article prodded me know more about the subject and share (brag) them here.
I first come across horses during my childhood days, when race horses, in all its splendour and hues, galloped in front of our house on their way to their stables, all trim and well-maintained. I used to watch them with wonder. The mention of Canadian Mounted Police reminded me of my school and college when used to visit the maidan for watching the weekly football league matches. Here too the Police, mounted on horses, were deployed for crowd management and often volatile supporters used to clash with the mounted police.
The Kolkata Mounted Police was first introduced in the town in 1840 with only two Sawars (riders) under a Dafadar (head officer) to carry messages and inform the harbour master whenever any ship was sighted. In 1842, arrangements were made for mounted policemen to patrol the maidan area. Prior to 1905 the Sawars were all Indians. At present the Kolkata Mounted Police which consists of one inspector, one sergeant-major, twelve sergeants, one JCO, five head Sawars, eighty-five Sawars and ninety-eight syces, is mainly deployed to regulate crowds on the maidan during sporting events and fairs. The entire unit functions under the supervision of one Deputy Commissioner. This unit also participates in ceremonial parades and mounts guard at Raj Bhavan during the visit of VIPs. The role is similar to that of their Canadian counter parts.
Besides, the sports mentioned in the post (Polo, racing and tent pegging), Jousting is another medieval horse sport, which has been revived recently and their first tournament was held in 1997. Here the combatants engage in a sporting contest on horseback and fight with lances. The first World Championship of jousting as a combat sport was held in Ontario, Canada in 1999.
The horses have been carrying out another very essential service to human beings for many years. They are also used for producing (snake) anti venoms. Here is an excerpt,
‘Small amounts of snake venom are injected into huge Percheron horses on a regular basis over a long period of time. The amounts are so small that the horses are not affected except that this produces antibodies to counteract the foreign substance in its system. After some 10-12 months of this immunological ‘conditioning’, a small proportion of each horse’s blood is removed and the plasma is extracted. This plasma contains the antibodies which, when injected into a snake bite victim, will neutralize snake venom. These animals suffer no ill-effects and are used repeatedly to help save human lives in this fashion.’
I found your discourse on the genealogical history was very informative. Their extinction in American Continent and their subsequent reintroduction were all new to me. Earlier I have gathered from Rahul Sankritayan’s work, Kanaila Ki Katha/Volaga se Ganga, that Humans acquired their most important single ally from the animal kingdom when they domesticated the horse, in about 3000 BC. I found reference to domesticated horses near Pamir (North Kuru) in Central Asia, in the 3rd chapter Amritaashwa. I gather from your article that wild horses of various kinds have spread throughout most of the world by the time human history begins. Besides Przewalski species, another breed that was saved from extinction was ‘The Tarpan’ , which was the native breed in Europe.
Coming to our mythology, in Mahabharta, Nakul was an expert in horse breeding and horse-keeping. Nakul’s deep understanding of horse breeding and training is documented in the Mahabharata after the death of Narakasura, by Krishna. In a conversation with Virata, Nakula claimed to know the art of treating all illnesses of horses. Thus Nakula must be earliest known syce. He was also a highly skilled charioteer.
I know the main aim of this present article is to dwell on their role in films and how film producers handled them therein. Sinc e I am firmly saddled now (I believe so), and if you permit me to blow my own horn further, then I will drill on that part in my next installment. Till then good bye and good night.

86 D P Rangan March 27, 2016 at 10:35 am


Overwhelmed at your appreciation of my maiden effort. AK is the prime mover in this effort of mine. He instilled in me enough confidence to go ahead. I felt that this blog should not be merely a repertoire of old songs. There should be additional general information on any topic for a few followers to learn something though I believe majority are already well versed in them.

You have given great information on the role of horses in India too. I totally forgot about their contribution in the medical field. Way back in 1971, I was in Calcutta to determine price of diphtheria vaccines and had visited a horse farm maintained by the company to develop these vaccines. Their role in snake venom vaccine was new to me.

Unseating riders from horses was a well known sport in medieval ages, when knights in armour used to charge each other with lances. Good to see it has been revived as jousting. In south of France a breed of wild horses still survive. Please add more information on their role in other fields too. Addition to knowledge is always welcome to one and all.

AK has given great latitude to the followers to freely express their views and has kept blogs alive for ever. Why not rename this blog as akpedia in his honour.

87 N Venkataraman March 27, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Mr D P Rangan

Having obtained your consent, I will continue with my efforts to carry on my bragging to boredom. True, AKji has given leeway to the followers to freely put across their views. In response to Mumbaikarji’s comment, he has already expressed his opinion. ‘SoY will remain Songs of Yore’. So the idea of akpedia should be to be put to rest. We admire him for his innovative posts and keeping the blog alive for ever. .
Before I continue with today’s installment, let me seek pardon for the missing words and errors, both grammatical and typographical, that I have committed in my previous comment and those I am likely to commit hereafter.
Answering your query whether the horses or the cart appeared first in film, Shalanji has already mentioned, in her erudite and enlightening comment(s), that the first ever moving object to be captured on film was a race horse.
That was in June 1878. And the man behind this feat was Eadweard Muybridge.
“He copied the images in the form of silhouettes onto a disc to be viewed in a machine he had invented, which he called a zoopraxiscope. This device was later regarded as an early movie projector, and the process as an intermediate stage toward motion pictures or cinematography.”
But our first movie star, a horse, Equus Caballus, deserves more coverage.
So taking a cue from your dictate…
“It would be a grave miscarriage of justice if the principal actor of such scenes, i.e. The Horse is not given its due importance. The horse being a dumb creature may not be able to demand its share of recognition from the film producers. It is up to us humans who have enslaved the horse for their own use to repair this omission as an act of noblesse oblige.”
I present a short write up on our first movie star. I would have preferred to give the link to this information, but I believe I will have to give the link to entire book. So I am culling out the relevant portion and presenting it here. If the readers find my narrative inadequate (!!!), the book is available on the net (some pages are omitted).
This equine performer’s name was Abe Edgington. It was a race horse owned by the one-time California Governor and railroad tycoon Leland Stanford. Abe Edgington’s fame was as a result of a bet. Stanford hoped to prove that a racing trotter going at full speed would, for a split second, be completely airborne. Thus he engaged Eadweard Muybridge to photograph his horses. In front of the invited press, on fine day in the month of June in the year 1878, began shooting a series of photos of Abe Edgington. In all it took half a second to take a dozen pictures and Stanford was proved right. He had his proof too. The series of pictures clearly showed the high-stepping Abe Edgington’s four legs suspended in the midair. Abe Edgington blazed away to glory from half a second shoot session. – Source: Hollywood Hoofbeats: The Fascinating Story of Horses in Movies and Television
And in the words of Shalan Lalji-
“Another feather in the mane of the horse as starter of a brand new cine-civilization of the 20th Century! And the moving film art was born.”
Here is the 15 seconds clipping
Race Horse First Film Ever 1878 Eadweard Muybridge
Funded further by Stanford, who was very fond of his horses and forbade his farmhands to talk harshly to them, Muybridge within the next four weeks produced six more sequential photographs of involving Stanford’s horses, depicting them walking, trotting and galloping. Along with Abe Edgington, Occident another horse of Stanford and other horses named Daisy, Eagle, Elberon, Sharon, Pandora, Billy, Annie G, and Bouquet ranked among the world’s earliest movie stars. – Source: Hollywood Hoofbeats: The Fascinating Story of Horses in Movies and Television.
If somebody wants to know more about Eadweard Muybridge here is another clipping, the short write-up below the video gives a reasonably good description of this pioneer.
16years later Thomas Alfa Edison after patenting the first motion picture camera, Kinetograph camera, opened his Kinetoscope Parlour in New York, on 14th April 1894, where with help of his film-viewing device, Kinetoscope, screened his short films. Thus began the journey of American motion picture Industry. Edison too was fascinated by the visual excitement of horses. His 1894 short film Bucking Bronco starred a jumping horse named Sunfish along with the Colorado cowboy Lee Martin. In the same year Edison filmed Buffalo Bill, putting his graceful gray horse Isham through his paces. And these two films could be called the first westerners. I don’t think the short films are available on net. But another British short film The Derby produced in 1895 is available on the net. Here is the link to the 29 seconds short film.
The history of motion picture starts with the horses and these quadrupeds continued to be the centre of attraction for a long, long time. When we speak of motion pictures, horses will definitely occupy a coveted position. Having performed the sacred duty of bringing those earliest and coveted motion picture stars, Abe Edgington, Sunfish, isham etc., all horses, to harness, I take leave with the warning that I will be back soon to continue to view the liberty provided by AKJI and yourself , as license.

88 Shalan Lal March 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

N.Venkatraman @ 87 and 85

Going on the horse back still long after as the noble animal is on the way of becoming extinct. Your references of Horse and films are monumental. Also in the earlier comment about the use of poison as the medicine is great. I was once at a Hill Stationin India and met a youthful doctor and heard him talking that poison is medicine for many physical diseases and he was working on it as a cure for Parkinson Disease. I wonder if he was succesful.

Thanks for mentioning my name.

God bless both of you and Rangan who are carrying on the hobby horse.

89 D P Rangan March 29, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Mr. Venkataraman what is this talk of obtaining permission. This is a blog of freedom. Dissemination of information for all to share is a basic feature of the blog and I very much appreciate the data presented by you. Please enlighten the veterans of the blog in the same vein to your hearts (horses) content. You have established that horses appeared first in the film in Hollywood. That should more or less be the position in Indian films too. Horses should have figured in the stunt film of 1940s when Nadia ruled the roost. Neither full length films or clippings from them are available now to substantiate this educated guess.
Ms. Shalan Lal once again thanks for your appreciation which is very much treasured.

90 Shalan Lal March 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm

D.P.Rangan @89

Many of the films of Wadia Bros have been lost. A son of Homi Wadia nowadays live in Australia. However some of the films of Wadia Bros survived. I think he carries on the family busines both from India and Australia. The only surviving film of Nadiaya and Jon Cawas is called “Diamond Queen”. Some old video collctors may have a copy of it. I am not sure if it is available on the YouTube.
I do not think that the horses in Bollywood have the same stature as the Hollywood films have as after the rise of Motor Rikshaws and other transport, the Tonga culture disappeared and apart from the race horses there is no real care for the horses in India. And people are against horse races as well. So eventually horses will disappear from the Indian scene.


91 N Venkataraman March 31, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Shalan Lalji,
Thank you for your response (#88). The information and terms you have referred to, led me to more material which you may be aware of.
We may not know whether the youthful doctor’s prescription succeeded or not, but Equine therapy is one of the treatments experimented and suggested for improvement in functional capacity and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients. It seems this therapy involves exercise and relaxation with the horses. Recently another new experiment in gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease involving genetically altered horse virus has achieved promising results in its first human tests.

Carrying on the hobby horse, the first things that were referred to as hobbies were in fact a breed of horse that was popular in Ireland in the Middle Ages. This is an extinct breed of horse came from the British Isles and developed in Ireland prior to the 13th Century. The breed provided foundation bloodlines for several modern horse breeds. The Scottish poet John Barbour referred to them as hobynis, in the narrative poem, The Bruce, written in the year 1375. Again around 1400 in another poetic work, Reliquiae Antiquae, he referred to them again. In the 16th century the term Hobyn had the meaning of small horse or pony.

Riding further, English folk performers and dance teams began performing with characters (often children) dressed in wickerwork and cloth costumes, made to look like stylised horses, somewhat similar to the present-day pantomime horses. These ‘hobby-horses’, which took their name from the Irish breed, are still to be seen as part of the English folk tradition, notably at the annual ‘Obby Oss’ festival, celebrated on May Day eve in Padstow, Cornwall. This custom, I believe, dates back to at least the 16th century.

Here is a link (1:57) to this lovely ritual and fascinating ancient culture, seemingly first filmed in 1932.

With your blessings I will continue to ride the hobby horse till I switch my attention and contemplatively watch Birds take wings. Thanks once again.

92 N Venkataraman March 31, 2016 at 11:52 pm

Thank you for riding the hobby horse with us. Do not worry about the threesome burden, since it is only a hobby horse, neither the horse will be weighed down or for my part I will be cowed down. The same may not be true for others. You need not be apologetic for taking the horse for a ride to the family showground. Like the dog, a horse can also be a part of the extended family. You have given some interesting anecdotes about your rendezvous with horses in real and reel life. I will follow up when I will address their appearance in Indian films.

93 Shalan lal April 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Venkaraman @ 91
Thanks for your further equine line in the medicinal usefulness; so for that alone horses now needed to be protected in all nations. I wonder is this horse-sense only in India, or it is now an accepted universal understanding. In the light of this knowledge you two lovable codgers should keep on riding as far as you go. But remember that too much rawhide riding on the horses may cause horse rashes in remote areas!
Shalan Lal

94 ksbhatia April 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm

D P Rangan ji ;
My exploration of songs on the theme is continuing and here is one more such song featuring horses .

Tere dum se ye jahan……Manna dey…..Sakhi Robin….Robin Bannerji

95 D P Rangan April 5, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Viewed the song. Scenery is good but the song is average according to me. I admire your tenacity in digging out these kind of songs. Please continue your effort. At the same time remember the Law of Diminishing Returns which will operate sometime or the other.

One other area you can look into where I failed whether there are ghoda songs prior to that of Pankaj Mullick Doctor (1941). Thanks for keeping alive the blog.

96 ksbhatia April 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

D P Rangan ji;
I will go with your statement as to the quality of the song . Some time you come across a song which you are hearing for the first time and irrespective of its quality you want to retain it as a subjective reference for sharing . Some time , while browsing , you come across surprises such as finding K L Saigal type songs in Hunterwali ki beti movie of the 30s / 40s . it will be a great fun sharing such songs as well.

It will be a great feat if we come across ghoda ghadi songs of the pre 40 era .

97 D P Rangan April 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm


Please go ahead with your exploration and bring out songs. In the comments section someone has told that O P Nayyar himself drew inspiration from the ‘Chale pawan ki chaal’ of Doctor 1941 and started composing his own series of horse songs. That would imply no songs prior to 1941 of this category. I too can locate a few more songs. But I stand on the principle that in my own post, I should not introduce any additional songs and leave it entirely to other veterans. Let success adorn your further endeavour.

98 Shalan Lal April 7, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Comments 94 to 97
I disagree with the view of Mr Rangan at 95. Mr KSBhatiya should go on mentioning all the songs he would be digging out. One person’s song taste may be different than that of the other person. I personally like to open myself to all kinds of songs. A song is a creative art of a group of persons and must not be discarded just becasue one person thinks it is good or bad. I had seen “Sakhi Robin”. To me the song is good. I was at that time thought it was a woman Robon Hood. Mentioning it to a Bohari friend of mine and she said immediately the word Sakhi is not the Indian “Sakhi” but a a Farasi word. That means “Charitable”.

Further about OP’s inspiration from P Mullick does not make OP good or bad. OP should be enjoyed on his own merits.

I feel that KSBhatiya is a unique person and he has such ability to find out with such a speed so many songs is praiseworthy. He is the “Songologist of the SoY”. Three Cheers for him and let him carry on and entertian us as he is doing last so many years.


99 N Venkataraman April 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Mr D P Rangan,

Here is the last lap of my ride. Before I proceed let me thank you for your considerate and encouraging words (#89).

Since the days of silent films, horses made regular appearance in Hollywood movies, both in silent as well as talkies. Bhatiaji had mentioned about western cowboy movies, which would account for more than 1000 or even more in number. Besides, movies about heroic horses constituted a popular film genre in the west and there would be numerous films exclusively on this theme.
Let me touch upon the Indian scenario prior to the year 1913, when Raja Harishchandra, the first accepted Indian silent feature film, was released. In 1898, Phillip Anderson made a film on the Poona Races. This must be the first film produced in India to portray horse/ horses. This gives credence to your statement that horses appeared first in the Indian films too. But this film is not available for viewing. Hiralal Sen, arguably the first film maker in India, produced about 40 films from 1898 and 1913. Most of the films he made depicted scenes from popular Bengali theatrical productions. Hence the appearance of horse in any of his films remains remote. Bhatiaji had mentioned about the documentary film on the coronation of Queen Elezebeth he had viewed in 1951/52. H S Bhatwadekar, popularly known as Saave Dada, also credited to be the first Indian film maker, was also ascribed with the filming of the coronation ceremony of Edward the VII in Delhi in 1903. But the link below credits Robert W Paul. Either Bhatwadekar was part of Robert W Paul’s team or he too must have filmed the occasion and it seems that film is no longer available. In any case the link below must be the earliest available film where one can find both horses and horse drawn carriages.

Likewise, the coronation of King George the V in Delhi in the year 1911 was also filmed (available on Youtube) and contains both horses as well as horse drawn carriages.

The two available reels of Raja Harishchandra (1913) do not have any equine presence. Since majority of the silent films made in India were mythological or historical in context, we can infer the existence of horses in many of the silent motion pictures. Like Lav Kush (1920), Mahabharat (1920), Karna (1922), Veer Abhimanyu (1922) etc.from the mythological genre, Poona Raided (1924) and Kalyan Khajina (1924) (both on Shivaji), films on Ranii Padmini of Chittor, Rana Pratap, Noor Janhan etc. from the historical genre, to name a few. Further only a few silent films are available. Baburao Painter, the leading exhibitor, producer and actor of the silent era, fell off a horse, while filming Sinhagad (1923), the injury causing a lifelong speech defect. I have read that the Maharaja of Kolhapur lent his elephants, horses and infantry to be part of the film, Karna (1928) which was shot in the outskirts of Kolhapur.

I can mention four silent movies that are available on youtube, which have equine presence. Himanshu Rai,who later founded the Bombay Talkies, was associated with Franz Osten and Niranjan Pal, as co director and actor in making of the films Prem Sanyas (1925), Shiraz (1928) and Prapancha Pash(1929). From the south, Marthanda Verma (1933) is another film that can mentioned in this context.
In the Indian context, both in the silent era and later, I do not think there would be many films made exclusively on horses. Similar to the silent films era, the most of the talkies in the early period were based on mythology and historical themes. But there is another genre, mentioned by you and Shalanji, the action movies from the house of Wadias. Fearless Nadia, with her ever-present equine as her lighting-speed mount, blazed the screen. The horse, Punjab Ka Beta, a feature of most of Wadia Movietone films of that time, had prominent billing in the film Hind Kesari (1935). Sardar Mansoor, the masked hero, was on the saddle. In the film Hunterwali (1935), there are horses and Nadia can be seen doing stunts on horse-carriages. Punjab Ka Beta could communicate with head gestures and body language. In Hurricane Hansa (1937), the horse gently pushes Hansa’s would be paramour into the pond where Hansa is bathing. A few stunt films of Nadia are available on YT. Since I have not viewed them, I cannot say more. But from the available posters and clipping we can conclude that her favourite horse was there in many of her films. I could locate one song from her film, Nadia mounted on her horse.

Qadam Qadam Badhe Chalo, singers (?), film Hunterwali Ki Beti (1943), lyrics A Karim, music Channalal Naik

There is another song from one of her later films. The horses can be seen tapping their hooves to the beat of the song, for a few seconds though.
Hasna Gana Mauj Udana, singer (?), film Circus Queen (1959), lyrics Naqsh Lyaallpuri, music Shafi M Nagri

The horse has also been a faithful standby for many masked avengers down the years. For Mehboob Khan’s exciting action film Deccan Queen (1936), Aruna Devi plays the masked-avenger’s role to restore her family’s honor. Her beloved, played by Suresh, is saved by his faithful horse that uses his teeth to rescue his master from certain doom. Suresh was shackled to train tracks by villains as a speeding locomotive hurls towards him. Horses had a role to play in Andaz (1949), Naya Daur (1957) and many more in the years that followed.

Most of the horse-songs have been posted by Bhatiaji and others it will be difficult on my part to make any meaningful additions. I hope the following song fits the bill, although the singer is not riding the horse.

Alvida O Jaane Tamanna Alvida by Suraiya, film Shamma Parwana (1954), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Husnlal-Bhagatram

This is a song played in the background, warriors on horse backs getting ready for the ensuing battle and Jhansi ki Rani can be seen entering the arena towards the end of the song.

Har Har Mahadev Ka Nara, singers-Ramakant, Parashuram, Suman Purohit, Sulochana Kadam, film Jhansi ki Rani (1953), lyrics Pt. Radheshyam, music Vasant Desai

Following the trot trail left behind by my experienced predecessors, I have almost reached the touchline. It was not a lonely ride; I thank Shalanji, Bhatiaji and Ranganji for giving me company during this last lap of half a score and six. One more to go, I leave the privilege of walking the horse past the 100th mark and then to its stable, to Bhatiaji. “The lovable co(ffin do)dger” would like assure that the pleasant ride did not cause rashes at any remote place. I hope the ride does not result in pain anywhere else too. Of course I do have the blessings of many well wishers. Let me bid goodbye with this quote,

Faded film of ages gone
Lest we forget the horses
or the majesty of them
Lest we forget them
or the men who spurred them on
In solemn re-enactment
we must remember them.

100 Shalan Lal April 9, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Mr Venkatraman @99
Your last lap is a definitive lanmark information about your horse riding in the Hollywood and Bollywood. The information is staggering and I am feeling giddy and slipping down from my horse. When we have such a scholership and research backing we could fly up to the moon or mars or outer galaxy and reach for those worlds that are yet not discovered. I wonder if there are any Sci-Fi films made by Indians.

101 ksbhatia April 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

N Venkatraman ji ;
What a history ! Wow ! Venkat ji we would never like to leave you @ 99 , we wish that you go on making centuries entertaining us with such unexplored informative articles and posts . This request goes to my esteem collegues and friends…Ms. Shalan Lal ,.D P Rangan ji , A K ji and many others of SoY family .

Wheel is a symbol of life that encourage you to live it as it comes to you . In our youth we played with the discarded wheels left overs of used up Tri-cycles and Bi-cycles ….trying to move them by sticks or rods and running races with our fellow friends . It was really a great fun mocking goda gadi races by borrowing chunnies and duppattas from our fellow sisters as well .

A song that still lingers in my head would surely find hiding in every one else heart also . It is a sort of a race between self driven single bi-cycle wheel and four wheel horse driven buggy . How symbolic the song is find it here in an era of no pollution enviornment .

……..Udan khatole pe ud jaaoon tere haath na aaoon……….

……….Noor Jahan , Shamshad Begam………Anmol Ghadi…..Naushad

102 Shekhar April 10, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Noor Jehan was indeed the heroine of Anmol Ghadi but “Udan khatole pe ud jaaoon tere haath na aaoon” is in the vocals of Shamshad Begam on Baby Noor (later Johny Walker’s wife) portraying Noor Jehan’s childhood, and Zohrabai Ambalewaali on Master M Kabir as young version of the hero Surendra in the movie.

103 D P Rangan April 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm


Was a bit lazy and have paid the price. Bhatiaji has already expressed what I wanted to say. Still a great research before which my post pales into insignificance. I expect that all these comments would be very helpful for someone research minded in the future. I will take your comments as combined for both my articles.


What a wonderful song. Your childhood experiences is very similar to mine and I think in the great country, British India, basic nature of life everywhere was similar. Prevalence of dense foliage in the neighbourhood in those halcyon days enabled us to play hide and seek. When I meet you next in person, in the fond hope of AKji hosting another lunch, you stand in danger of being hugged by me as a fellow traveller. This is an advance warning.

104 D P Rangan April 11, 2016 at 3:43 pm


Welcome you to SOY on behalf of AK. How do you manage to get such delicate details. I find there are two girls sitting in the tonga. Baby Noor must be the girl sitting in the back. Who is in the front. I think Noor Jehan herself is singing for her. So it is a triad, two girls and one boy.;

105 Shekhar April 11, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for your warm welcome to SOY but I have intruded before in this august ‘mehfil’ of music experts with my humble two-cents.
The information about the child actors is from Song-a-Day web-site.
In the front of the tonga are two men: one the tonga-driver and the other some family servant or guard. I could see no other girl in the tonga Than Baby Noor. In any case, if there were one, it could not be Noor Jehan with her childhood-self Baby Noor in the frame.
And it indeed is a Shamshad-Zohra duet, not a trio.

106 D P Rangan April 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm


Please watch the song again. I distinctly see a girl elder to Baby Noor singing. Unless Shamshad has sung for both parties, there is a question mark. Society morals of those days would not have allowed a boy in the garb of a girl.

107 Shekhar April 11, 2016 at 8:40 pm

I still cannot see the second girl in the song clip. I then again saw the video of the film at which begins with this very number to see what happens when the tonga stops upon reaching Baby Noor’s house. There at 04:53 min, we see only Baby Noor in the tonga being exhorted by the man servant to alight – there is no other girl around.
Maybe I am just missing something obvious.

108 D P Rangan April 12, 2016 at 10:54 am


Please accept my apologies. When the song started distant shot showed a baby face. In the next stanza, close up of the girl singing was depicted. Her face looked quite mature and this led me to think it is two girls. Again at the point – sooraj jage chanda bage, it is a close up and the face is not that of a baby. Thanks for being patient with me and maintaining the correct position. I have to learn a lot. It is a nice song and I was earlier aware of it. My emphasis was in picturing lesser known music directors in this genre. Otherwise I could have built up a list of even 20 songs with O P Nayyar and Naushad alone.

109 Shekhar April 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm

Please don’t embarrass me by apologizing for nothing. It never was my intention to prove my point – I was just wondering how come I keep miss the second girl. In the process, I got to enjoy this golden oldie a few times.

110 N Venkataraman April 12, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Shalanji @ 100
Thank you for the appreciative comments. I note your attempt to open up another chapter, Sci-Fi films made by Indians. I am not biting the bait.
Bhatiaji @101
Thanks for carrying the horse past the post (100th mark) with Shalanji. Thanks a lot for your appreciation and words of wisdom. I would only repeat what Ranganji has said about childhood experiences.
Udan khatole pe ud jaaoon tere haath na aaoon is a nice song. Must be the precursor to the song Bachpan ke din bhula na dena.
Ranganji @ 103
Your erudite post stimulated me to continue with such excessive addendum. No Ranganji, the plethora of words were only meant for this article, or should I take it as a hint to draw a line and go no further. But I haven’t traveled in a horse drawn carriage since my college days, that too for sheer pleasure!! Would you deny me the pleasure of riding the “hackneyed” carriage once again? I assure you it will not be too soon, since the Best songs of 1949 and Shalanji’s birds are waiting in the wings.

111 D P Rangan April 13, 2016 at 8:50 am


Delighted to note your comments were confined to only one article. I would be eagerly awaiting your expert views on the tonga post. I am expecting lot of interesting information about horse cart and their role in human development. Take your time. After completing your views on Aviary Birds, you can start on mine.

112 ksbhatia April 17, 2016 at 11:34 pm

DP Rangan ji ;
Here are two vintage songs of K L Saigal ….one featuring horse and the other a narrative song without horse.

1. Morey balapan ke saathi….K L Saigal, Khursheed….Tansen…Khemchand Prakash…
2. Ek raje ka beta……KL Saigal…….President…..MD[?]

113 ksbhatia April 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm

DP Rangan ji ;
In continuation , here are four songs from Shankar Jaikishan ‘s melody kitty . All the songs are from Rajhath .

1. Aaja aaja nadiya kinare…..Lata, chorus….

2. Aaye bahar ban ke …..Rafi…..

3. Chale sipahi dhul udate……Manna dey, chorus…

4. Pyare babul se bichhad ke….Lata, chorus…..

….Song at 3 is a repeat as it was posted by another SoY member .
…..more to follow…..

114 D P Rangan April 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm


The deluge continues. I may have to search for Noahs Ark to stay afloat. President, 1938, lyrist Kidar Sharma and Music
R C Boral.
Once upon a time only source of Saigal songs was Radio Ceylon 755 am daily. A set of songs used to be repeated. One day I picked up a cd of saigal songs for Rs. 25 and have now nearly hundred of them. If Utube tree is shaken lot of fruits will fall. Keep on adding songs. Never could imagine a post like this could attract comments in excess of hundred. Every post in this blog could be construed as a batsmen innings. Landmarks would be crossing into two figures, crossing 50 and culmination could be floating past 100. Thanks to you the ultimate target has been achieved.

115 Dinesh K Jain April 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm

@D P Rangan
If I am allowed, with due respect, somehow I remember very well the Radio Ceylon programme of old songs, from 0730-0800 hrs, early 60’s even though I was yet to be 10, the programme would actually play two Sehgal songs each day, one to begin with and the other the last. A callow young lad that I was, I remember this so well because I then hated Sehgal’s songs and his singing style!!

116 D P Rangan April 19, 2016 at 5:40 am

You must now have started to like Saigal. I used to like certain songs of his in those days. I do not recollect two Saigal songs. One was certain as last song. Probably a set of about 20 songs used to be repeated. Very often it was one from Dharmatimata, President and Shahjahan. Babul mora used to be broadcast too.

Have not listened to Radio Ceylon for more than 20 years. Do not know whether the same pattern still prevails. Comments are welcome from all quarters. They enrich the blog.

117 ksbhatia April 19, 2016 at 4:06 pm

D P Rangan ji @ 103 and fellow travelers of horse driven buggies ;

You are right the basic life style in British India was similar for most of us born during mid 40s and 50s . In fact living in the 50 and 60s was an extension of British like living atmosphere that prevailed at that time , when open spaces greenery were in plenty , till the rapid urbanisation took over , shrinking the land and reducing the green covers . The beautiful quarters , banglows and large open play grounds and green covers were the hallmarks of British typical town and country planning . The houses were designed to be cool in summer and no provision was necessary for AC or Coolers .

It was really a fun living in new delhi area and travelling from Gole dak khaana to Karol bagh, Paharganj or even to Cannaught place on tanga . Since ours was a large family it was economical too to travel that way .

It was in this context I was wondering how a single horse was able to take that much load taking us from one place to another carrying the pain , specialy during summer. To ease my this thought [ and my guilt ] I am now satisfied to learn that over the years that though this animal has been subjected to many time greater pain but this pain has emmensly contributed to the nation building for the hard work put in by them . For any nation to grow transport system has to be there at the first very place . As Automobiles and locomotives were yet to be discovered horses were right substituted for them . 18th and 19th centuries saw development of technology in this respect and till their applications , horses performed their duties pulling trains , trams , cars , wagons and even fire fighting engine . This was well before the arrival of steam, diesel and electric engine . A few of the historical and modern videos that are available on the subject are on YT and are placed herewith .

1………Last Horse driven train……

2……..Douglas Bay Horse Tramway….

3. ……. Here is an excellent documentary film made in 1926 that depicts the development of one hundred years of railways…. how the horses lost to tecnological advancement thru the time of events .


4………. Last fire horses……..

In British India , prior to the partition , Sir Ganga Ram did some excellent work in and around Lahore and Peshawar . He was a civil engineer / architect and built a number of hospitals and colleges and donated a large sum of money for the development works . Not only that he did some excellent mini micro lift irrigation projects for the benefits of the locals and in this also he part with a very large rural land giving it free to the farmers . For generation of power he did a number of small power generation projects , again for the locals . His Hospital in Delhi , known as Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was the first among the few specialist hospital of that time .

For executing all these and other projects in Lahore he invented and planned a unique system of bringing men and material to the site by laying railway track and small bench cars driven by the horses . This work is still in place and can be seen in the links that follows .

Life history of sir Ganga Ram…

in praise of Sir Ganga Ram…

Ghora train , Faislabad…..

Sir Ganga Ram efforts at Gangpur showing the horse driven tram with irrigation area alongside ….

Watching all these good works the Britishers bestowed upon him the ….Rai Bahdur…..credentials in 1903 followed by the decorative ” Sir ” ceremonial prefix in 1933.

Incedently , Lahore and Peshawar are the two places which are famous for the best breed of horses . There is a famous tanga race of lahore that is going on for the last so many years . Regular festivals are held there which shows the various skills by their masters .

…..Tonga race…..

With so much role that horses have done in their Real life it is a little sad sort of affair that not much has been done in depicting this way of Reel life in Bollywood . The Hollywood did produce some excellent entertaining movies depicting their western culture vis a vis grandeaure of Wagons and stage coaches during the 40s thru mid 60s .
Reference to them was given in my earlier post . In the silent era some funny movies were carried out during Charlie Chaplin and Laural Hardy times . Chaplin made ….The Fireman….that showed horse drawn fire engine . Here is the link….

Laural and Hardy delivered Black diamond …actual horse …against the black diamond ….the painting…. to the rich client and made him stand atop the piano in the movie …..Wrong again . Likewise There were Buster Keatons movies as well .

Western movies did produce some good music in the form of theme songs or title music and all have a quality of listening to them again and again . Some good songs were also there….river of no return and misfits are coming to my mind .

Enough for the day , will come back again for relevent songs

118 N Venkataraman April 20, 2016 at 7:38 pm

WoW Bhatiaji, thanks a lot for the treasure-trove of information. Delighted to know about Sir Gangaram.

119 ksbhatia April 21, 2016 at 12:01 am

N Venkatraman ji ;
Thanks for your appreciation .
Here are some more songs on the theme .

1. Chal prem nagar jayega….Lata, Rafi….Jeet….LP

2. Tap tap tip tip ki chal pe…..Rafi….Tange wala……Naushad

3. Mard tangewala…….Mohd. Aziz.,chorus…..Mard…..Anu Malik

4. Do diwaane aye…..Rafi, Asha….Tangewala……Naushad

……to be contd….

120 ksbhatia April 22, 2016 at 1:05 am

DP Rangan ji ;
I am saddened to know that the brave horse Shaktiman is no more. With his demise the humanity dies too.

I will continue my efforts to post songs as a tribute to the departed soul.

121 ksbhatia April 23, 2016 at 12:27 pm

DPRangan ji ;
Here is one from pre 40s song featuring ghoda gadi.

…..Dekhat hai…..Kanan Devi….Vidyapati [1934 movie]….R C Boral

122 N Venkataraman April 23, 2016 at 11:40 pm

Once again…………….. Hmm.

123 ksbhatia April 24, 2016 at 3:53 pm

D P Rangan ji, Venkatraman ji ;
Here is a two part vintage song of the 1941 movie Sikandar sung by various singers of that time [ H Khan , Mastana, Sheela,etc] with music by Rafic Gaznavi , Mir Sahib .

1. Zindgi hai pyar se………

2. Zindgi hai pyar se [part 2]……

It will be a great fun if collectively try to identify the various singers . A good excercise to dwelt upon .

124 N Venkataraman April 24, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Nice addition. Identifying the singers …yeh mere bas ki baat nahi.

125 N Venkataraman April 27, 2016 at 12:29 am

Ranganji, Akji
I have mentioned in my comment (#99) that Hiralal Sen, arguably the first film maker in India, produced about 40 films from 1898 and 1913. Most of the films he made depicted scenes from popular Bengali theatrical productions. Hence the appearance of horse in any of his films remains remote. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. Yesterday I was reading a book in Bengali on the theatrical productions of Bengal during late 19th century and early 20th century. Amarendra Nath Dutta was a big name whose contribution to Bengal theater was immense. He established the Classic Theatre in 1897. In 1900, he launched a new play ‘Sitaram’ based on a novel/story by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Hiralal Sen was asked to film a part of the play. The main character, Sitaram was played by Amarendra Nath Dutta himself. The main attraction of the drama was the appearance of the dummy charcter (look-alike) of Sitaram, riding a horse on the stage, at the beginning of the play and this was filmed by Hiralal Sen and the year was 1900.

126 ksbhatia April 28, 2016 at 12:24 am

D P Rangan ji ;
A few more from the current theme…..

1. Saat ajoobe is duniya mein……Rafi, Mukesh…..Dharamveer…..LP

2. Tauba tauba kya hoga……Asha…..Mr. Natwarlal…..Rajesh Roshan

3. O Meri mehbooba…….Rafi ……Dharamveer…..LP.

127 ksbhatia July 12, 2016 at 11:12 pm

D P Rangan ji;
A vintage song on Ghoda but without the real one.

Favorite main ghoda khela……Minoo …….Miss Frontier Mail[ 1936] …….Master Mohd.

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